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Maryland confirms 579 new coronavirus cases and six deaths

Maryland reported 579 new coronavirus cases Sunday, as well as six more deaths caused by COVID-19.

The Maryland Department of Health has identified 104,102 cases since officials began tracking the virus in March. The confirmed number of people who have died in Maryland is 3,552.

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There are 407 people currently hospitalized in Maryland, including 99 receiving intensive care. The number of seriously ill people requiring that level of care has been trending downward, falling this weekend below 100 for the first time since the early days of the global pandemic. There were 34 fewer people hospitalized Sunday than the day before.

Since the pandemic began, 13,956 have been hospitalized for the virus.

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The state has conducted 1,772,656 COVID-19 tests so far, with 1,128,794 people testing negative.

The state’s positivity rate Sunday was 3.13%, up slightly from the day before.

Johns Hopkins calculates the state’s positivity rate to be 4.13%. Its figure is consistently higher than that of the state. The difference comes from the data used in the calculations. Maryland officials calculate the positivity rate as the number of positive tests divided by total testing volume over a seven-day period. Rather than the total testing volume, Hopkins uses the number of people tested, or the combination of new cases and people who tested negative.

Since June 25, the state’s reported seven-day average positivity rate for COVID-19 testing has been below 5%, which World Health Organization defines as a key benchmark for taking steps to reopen.

The virus continues to hit some parts of the state harder than others. Prince George’s County is home to roughly a fourth of all positive cases. Baltimore City meanwhile is nearing the 14,000-case threshold.

The disease has disproportionately affected the state’s Hispanic community. Despite making up about 10% of the state population, Hispanic people constitute roughly 24% of coronavirus cases.

Racial data is not available for about 15% of Maryland cases.

COVID-19 continues to take a more deadly toll on the state’s elderly. About 30% of people older than 80 years old who contracted the virus died as a result of it.

But while the coronavirus is considered more lethal among older people, young people represent a far greater number of confirmed cases in Maryland.

People 30 to 39 years old occupy the age bracket with the highest number of cases: 19,467. People in their 20s account for another 18,601 cases.

Children under 10 represent 3.6% of all confirmed cases and no deaths. That figure has been watched closely as school systems debate the best way to resume classes this fall.

The state also tracks deaths that are likely caused by COVID-19, but where results haven’t been confirmed by a laboratory test. Maryland considers 139 deaths to be probable coronavirus deaths.

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